Global perspective Human stories

Senegal added to UN list of "least developed countries"

Senegal added to UN list of "least developed countries"

The United Nations General Assembly this morning added Senegal to its list of "least developed countries" -- bringing the total number of such countries to 49.

Least developed countries (LDCs) are the poorest countries in the world, and are designated as such by the General Assembly on the basis of a per capita annual gross domestic product of less than $800, weak human resources, and a low level of economic diversification. According to the UN Committee for Development Policy -- the body which reviews the status of LDCs -- Senegal meets all three criteria for inclusion.

The combined population of the 49 LDCs is 610.5 million - equivalent to 10.5 per cent of world population. In the development efforts of the United Nations, they receive particular attention, since their needs are even greater than those of other developing countries.

The European Union will host the Third UN Conference on Least Developed Countries from 14 to 20 May in Brussels to assess the results of the programme of action adopted at the Second Conference on LDCs held in Paris in 1990 and to lay out a programme for the decade 2001-2010. The meeting will also review international support measures for the sustainable development of those countries and their integration into the world economy.